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Tripod recommendations for a noob required please!


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Hi All,

On a limited budget I'm going to put together a starter astrophotography rig consisting of an Evoguide 50ED, Skywatcher AZ-GTi goto mount, Raspberry Pi running Stellarmate and an ZWO ASI178MC camera. Can anybody recommend a tripod I could use? I know there's lots out there but there's nothing better than personal recommendations. I'm not looking for something crazily priced in case I don't enjoy the hobby.

Thanks in advance

Daz

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Hi, is it going to be used at home or out and about?

I've mainly used photo tripods but find they can be quite unstable/take time to settle down and affected by wind which is the last thing you want.

You state you don't want crazily expensive but the tripod could possibly be the next (or first) most important part of your kit.

I use an azgti too with a very short length carbon fibre tripod, it's a 3 section one but even fully extended and spread out it's only around 2ft high, I've learned the closer to the ground the better, you're imaging anyway so height isn't an issue. Carbon fibre I've found dampens vibration better than metal and is much lighter but they cost. The less sections to the tripod the better also as there's less flexing. Many people choose wood tripods as they dampen vibration the best but these can also cost. I found the stainless steel (the one inch ish tubular leg one) skywatcher tripod to be very sturdy, it's also fairly affordable though it's bulky so one for the home setup, you'd have to check for male threaded adaptors to suit the azgti female threaded mounting hole. Gitzo tripods also come highly recommended but pricey. I'm sure others can advise accordingly based on their experiences.

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The EQ mode firmware update is just to add the EQ option, when you start the synscan app it will ask you whether you want to be operating in alt az or EQ mode (it asks every time you start it).

For AP you will need to be in EQ mode, it's very difficult photographing anything other than lunar, solar (with filters) or planetary in alt az mode as the stars and subject will streak across the camera sensor.

For wedge there is the skywatcher one, it's okay ish though getting polar alignment is a pain because when you clamp the altitude lever it pushes the altitude out and makes it a frustrating experience. Get the William Optics one, trust me you won't regret it despite the extra cost.

For polar alignment you're using a computer anyway so they'll be a routine on that to help polar alignment, phd2 has one built in.

For weights save cost and DIY it, get an m12 all thread bar around 30-40cm long (can be longer), get some weightlifting cast iron weights, get around 50mm diameter steel washers, get m12 flanged nuts, all clamps up fine.

Check your azgti has a thread in the hole where the bars supposed to go as there was another thread on SGL where someone had an azgti which didn't have a thread in that hole, for some reason skywatcher made with and without.

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I've just had one of these delivered - https://www.firstlightoptics.com/skywatcher-star-adventurer/sky-watcher-38-stainless-steel-tripod.html its absolute beast, super well made and incredibly sturdy. As Elp said above, a decent tripod is one of, if not the most, important bit of your setup. Don't scrimp as you will only regret it later.

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21 hours ago, dazzystar said:

On a limited budget I'm going to put together a starter astrophotography rig consisting of an Evoguide 50ED, Skywatcher AZ-GTi goto mount, Raspberry Pi running Stellarmate and an ZWO ASI178MC camera. Can anybody recommend a tripod I could use?  -- Daz

It is very smart of you to seek all of that as separate components.  It is most common in the hobby to just accept the Package Deal of a great telescope and a flimsy mount and tripd with two oculars ("eyepieces") that you will soon replace with something more suited to your actual viewing needs.

After several years in this hobby, I finally started doing that, buying the component separately.

 

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Buying the components as separates reminds me of buying hifi. 

Does the star adventurerer....bolt straight onto this tripod?  I have a velbon D700, but I'm thinking of getting a star adventurer 2 pro and new tripod to use with my DSLR.

Edited by scotty1
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